Monday, March 17, 2014

The Imminent Absence of Gay-Rights Pioneer Fred Phelps

Apparently Fred Phelps of "God Hates Fags" infamy is on the edge of death, but his family can take comfort in his life's work as a strong (though inadvertent) promoter of gay rights. Seriously: I remember watching a documentary about him some years ago, before he was nationally famous (and, I think, before any state even recognized "civil unions," let alone "gay marriage") ... the Westboro Baptisters were holding one of their typical Tourette's-style insult-laden protests, and the documentary filmmakers were asking ordinary bystanders about it. One nearby driver watched the event as he sat in his car waiting for a traffic light to change, and when the documentarian asked him what he thought, he had a pained expression and said something like "Well, no, I don't exactly approve of homosexuality, but what THESE guys are doing ...." and I could almost see the little thought-wheels turning in his brain: "If these hateful idiots agree with me regarding sexuality, what  does that imply about my own attitudes ...."


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